Resources for ag worker needs

Resources for ag worker needs

Opinion
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NSW Farmers members concerned about labour shortage for harvest.

Our members continue to hold grave concerns over their ability to meet labour requirements during upcoming summer/spring harvests and shearing seasons.

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NSW Farmers members concerned about labour shortage for harvest. Photo: Farm Weekly

NSW Farmers members concerned about labour shortage for harvest. Photo: Farm Weekly

NSW Farmers continues to advocate for a coordinated national approach to the movement of agricultural workers interstate and even internationally, however we also urge farmers to make their labour needs known in order to attract as many workers as possible.

The closure of international borders means there are fewer Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) available to fill seasonal labour roles that Australians are traditionally less likely to apply for.

Various sectors are reliant on WHMs over harvest, with dependency on these workers as high as 80 percent in the horticulture industry.

NSW Farmers continues to advocate for special dispensation to be given to WHMs willing to work over upcoming harvests to return to Australia.

But, given a likely shortfall in WHMs come harvest, farmers are increasingly reliant on alternative workforce options.

If we are to meet the intense labour spike projected for horticulture and grains over coming months, farming enterprises need to fully utilise the resources currently available to them.

It is incumbent on farmers to register their labour needs with relevant organisations, both to source harvest labour and to help paint a clearer picture of where shortfalls exist.

Grains enterprises should be aware of Grain Producers Australia's (GPA) initiative to match businesses with a surplus workforce, such as Qantas, with vacancies in the grains industry.

Farming businesses are encouraged to register their labour needs with GPA to find workers from other fields who might be interested in undertaking temporary work in the grains industry.

Those in the horticulture industry are reminded to upload their labour requirements onto the Harvest Trail website, where potential workers can learn of opportunities currently available in the sector.

The NSW Government and National Farmers' Federation also have websites directing farmers to industry resources.

To read more about any of the programs outlined above, please check the websites of the listed organisations.

  • NSW Farmers Association

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